LUBBOCK — Tabitha Spray and Trixie Oche turned in dominant performances to guide TWU to a 25-15, 25-15, 25-14 victory over Lubbock Christian in the first round of the Lone Star Conference Tournament.
“Our team mindset was terrific tonight,” coach Jeff Huebner said. “When our players are locked into each other, it makes a huge difference and we have a few extra gears. Tonight, we got into that mode.”
Spray led the Pioneers with a double-double of 11 kills and 16 digs, added four blocks and registered a game-high .423 hitting percentage. Oche collected eight kills to go along with a game-high nine blocks.
“The two of them really played off each other well,” Huebner said. “Since they’re next to each other on the floor, you almost have to pick who to block. When they’re both going well, then you can have a night like tonight.”
Just 18 days ago, TWU traveled to LCU and fell to the Chaparrals in a five-set battle. During that match, TWU suffered several injuries and had to reshuffle its lineup mid-game.
The Pioneers have been playing with that same lineup the last three weeks, and on Tuesday night, it all came together.
TWU (16-14) hit .246 as a team and held LCU to a -.014 hitting percentage, the lowest TWU has held an opponent since Sept. 8, 2017, when the Pioneers also defeated the Lady Chaps in Lubbock for Huebner’s first win at TWU.
LCU (15-13) finished with 25 total kills on 144 attempts while committing 27 attacking errors.
“LCU has certainly played better matches, but our blocking and defense was pretty dominant tonight,” Huebner said. “Athletically, we’re near or at the top of the league, so when we put it together it can get messy for other teams.”
The Pioneers only trailed for four points in the entire match and went on lengthy runs throughout the night, including a 12-2 run to end the game and the Lady Chaparrals’ season.
Katy Ranes finished with a game-high 22 assists and collected 14 digs. Bailey French also totaled 23 digs to lead the Pioneer back row.
With the win, TWU advances to the quarterfinal round of the LSC Tournament. A tough test in No. 1 seed Texas A&M-Commerce awaits the Pioneers at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.